Gender, agency, and embodiment theories in relation to space

Upphovsperson: Malmström, Maria Frederika
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet | Cairo : Centre d'Études et de Documentation Économiques, Juridiques et Sociales
År: 2011
Språk: eng
Relation: Gouvernance locale dans le monde arabe et en Méditerranée : Quels rôles pour les femmes ?, p. 21-35
Ämnesord: gender, agency, urban space, SOCIAL SCIENCES, SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP
Identifikator: urn:isbn:2905838-48-5
Rättigheter: info:eu-repo/semantics/restrictedAccess
Why (and how) is it important to query into the particular lived experiences and ‘embodied agency’ of women if we want to study urban spaces through the lens of gender? The paper discusses this overarching question in relation to recent dynamic and generative theories of gender, embodiment and agency. This theoretical approach is relevant since it is possible to analyse the singularity of lived experience, not only as a form of social interaction, but as linked to social structures and discourses, which implies negotiations of tensions, conflicts, and uncertainties. Such an approach is particularly fruitful because it makes it possible to analyse agents within a context of social, cultural and political change. It also means the possibility to grasp women’s narratives and body language as they engage in acts of resistance, as well as the marking of body and space. The actions of ‘the secret self’ among younger generations, for example, give increased space and have manipulative potential as long as these ‘morally forbidden’ and dishonourable acts are not brought out into the public sphere. The need to understand agency as the capacity to act according to the exigencies of the specific socio-cultural context forms the main premise of this paper; where each context comprises the complex interaction between the local and a variety of wider global forces.